Your shoulders allow you to perform many of your daily activities. Your shoulders should provide optimum arm movement, but when a shoulder is injured, it can greatly hinder the body’s flexibility. Because of the anatomy of the shoulder, it is vulnerable to injury and malfunction. When this happens a shoulder pain specialist is what you need. Healthy shoulders are vital to an active lifestyle.
If a shoulder is healthy, the bursa works to reduce friction between the bones and soft-tissues of the joint. Each of the bones inside the shoulder is covered with cartilage which helps to reduce friction when moving. If something is not working, you need a shoulder pain specialist to address the issue and find a solution.
The first step is to have your shoulder or elbow evaluated by a physician. The shoulder and elbow specialist will consider your symptoms and conduct a physical exam to evaluate your shoulder or elbow’s strength, stability, and range-of-motion. X-rays, MRIs (Magnetic Resonance Imaging), and additional tests may be required to show internal injuries. Based on your examination, your physician will let you know if surgery is necessary or if exercise (whether at home or through an external physical therapy facility) would suffice to improve your shoulder or elbow’s function.
X-RAYS are used to detect bone injuries & malfunctions
MRIS are used to detect soft tissue & bone damage & malfunction
BLOOD TESTS may be used to confirm or rule out various types of arthritis
THE RESULTS OF YOUR PHYSICAL EXAMINATION AND TESTING WILL DETERMINE WHICH SURGICAL PROCEDURE, IF ANY, WOULD BE NECESSARY TO RESTORE OPTIMIZED FUNCTION.
ICE, ELEVATION, MEDICATION Your shoulder pain specialist may instruct you to ice and elevate your shoulder to reduce pain and swelling. Ice and elevate your shoulder at least 3-5 times a day for 20 minute intervals. At the same time, your physician may prescribe medications to aid in your recovery and ease your pain.
EXERCISE AND PHYSICAL THERAPY Physical therapy and/or home exercise may be suggested by your physician. These exercises are designed to slowly strengthen your shoulder and increase its range of motion. The speediness of your recovery will greatly depend on how dedicated you are to following your physician’s recommendations. Your shoulder pain specialist may also suggest that you use a sling until your shoulder is stronger.
INJECTIONS Your physician may suggest cortisone injections to reduce inflammation. Some patients may only require one injection, while others may need additional injections to relieve pain and inflammation.
Arthroscopy is a procedure which allows your shoulder pain specialist(orthopedic surgeon) to inspect and repair a shoulder problem with tiny incisions. Using the arthroscope (a powerful lens and fiber optic light), a surgeon can look into your joint, diagnose its malfunction, and often make necessary repairs. The procedure normally takes 1-2 hours and is done as outpatient. ARTHROSCOPY IS COMMONLY USED TO TREAT:
Shoulder instability – During the procedure, the surgeon will repair torn ligaments and cartilage to restore stability.
Rotator cuff tears – The surgeon will repair torn rotator cuff tendons with anchors, and sutures.
Bursitis – During the procedure, the surgeon will remove inflamed tissue and bone spurs to alleviate pain.
Arthritis – During the procedure, the surgeon will remove bone spurs and release stiff tissues to decrease pain and increase flexibility.
ADVANTAGES OF ARTHROSCOPY:
Generally involves day surgery (no overnight stay)
Generally speedy recovery
Your shoulder pain specialist will evaluate your condition to determine if you are a good candidate for shoulder arthroscopy. In some cases, physical therapy and exercise therapy may improve your condition without requiring surgery.
Are you suffering from a shoulder or elbow injury? Get treatment before the pain worsens. Lake Pointe Orthopaedics offers surgical and non-surgical options to alleviate your pain!